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African and Middle Eastern Reading Room (African and Middle Eastern Division)
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Notice: As the Library of Congress gradually begins to reopen its Reading Rooms for research, we are putting safety first with new procedures and practices that protect everyone’s health. Online resources and reference services, such as Ask a Librarian, will continue to be available during this time. Starting June 1 confirmed appointments are required for entry into Library facilities, and everyone must follow the health and safety protocols established by the Library, in consultation with public health professionals. Most of these protocols are mandatory, regardless of vaccination status. For details on Reading Room openings, appointments and “Know Before you Go” checklist, see:
New! Starting on July 12, 2021, the African and Middle Eastern Division Reading Room will provide access by appointment only between the hours of 9:30 am – 12:30 pm and 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm, Monday - Friday. Please submit an Ask a Librarian form or call (202) 707-4188 to schedule an appointment. Read important information here.

About the Division

About the Collections:
  Online Illustrated Guides
  The African Section
  The Hebraic Section
  The Near East Section

Research and Reference:
  Reference Assistance & Contacts
  Research a Country or Language
  Use the Reading Room
  Transliteration Tables

Digital Resources:

African, Jewish and Middle Eastern Studies: Digital Resources at the Library of Congress
  Selected Internet Resources 

African Section
 Hebraic Section
 Near East Section

  LC Databases & E-Resources
LC On-line Catalogs

Ask A Librarian
Want to ask our reference staff a question about the African and Middle Eastern collections?

From left: 18th century Middle East book binding; The Washington Haggadah; Kente Cloth
From left: 18th century Middle East book binding; The Washington Haggadah;
Kente Cloth

Of Special Interest:

African Section:

Africana Historic Postcard Collection

Conversations with African Poets and Writers Series

Digital Collection: Islamic Manuscripts from Mali

Obama Memorabilia from Africa
[PDF, 214 KB]

Omar Ibn Said Collection

Hebraic Section:

 Checklists of Items from Past Displays

Illustrated Children's Books
and Periodicals in
Hebrew and Yiddish, 1900-1929

[PDF, 14 MB]

 Sixteenth-Century Hebrew Books at the Library of Congres
[also in PDF version, 1MB]

Words Like Sapphires: 100 Years of Hebraica at the Library of Congress, 1912–2012

Yizkor-Memorial Book Collection: A New and Expanded Finding Aid

Near East Section:

Abdul-Hamid II Digital Collection of Books and Serials Gifted to the Library of Congress

 Armenian Rarities

Cuneiform Tablets: From the Reign of Gudea of Lagash to Shalmanassar III

Eltaher Collection - Palestinian Pamphlets

Finding Aids for Manuscripts from Mt. Sinai, Mt. Athos, and the Greek and Armenian Patriarchates in Jerusalem

The Holy Koran in the Library of Congress:
a bibliography

Online Exhibition “A Thousand Years of the Persian Book(Exhibition brochure)

Online Exhibition:
"To Know Wisdom and Instruction: the Armenian Literary Tradition at the Library of Congress"

Persian Language Rare Materials

Selections of Arabic, Persian, and Ottoman Calligraphy

Friends Groups:
Support the African Section
Support the Hebraic Section
Support the Near East Section

Upcoming Events

101 Independence Ave. SE
Thomas Jefferson Building,LJ 229
Washington, D.C. 20540-4660
2nd Floor Jefferson Building
View Directions

Monday - Friday: 8:30am - 5:00pm
Closed Saturdays, Sundays &
Federal Holidays External Link

Overseas Offices:
Cairo, Egypt
Islamabad, Pakistan
Jakarta, Indonesia
Nairobi, Kenya
New Delhi, India
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

The African & Middle Eastern Reading Room is the primary public access point for materials housed in the the African and Middle Eastern Division (AMED) which include a variety of vernacular scripts, such as Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, Georgian, Hebrew, Persian, Turkish, and Yiddish. Covering 77 countries from Morocco to Southern Africa to the Central Asian republics of the former Soviet Union, the division's three sections--African, Hebraic, and Near East--offer in-depth reference assistance, provide substantive briefings on a wide range of subjects relating to these languages and cultures, produce guides to the Library's vast resources and cooperate in developing and preserving the Division's unparalleled collections.
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  The Library of Congress >> Researchers
  November 5, 2021
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